Saturday 23 May 2020

Progress on the Japan SAL

Embroidery progress has been rather slow this week as I am having problems with xerosis.   Yes!   Did you know there is a special medical term for dry cracked skin on fingers :-)   It makes stitching and knitting and most anything more problematic than usual  and has hampered progress.
But I have almost completed the left half of the Quakers in Japan SAL and must say that this is a most enjoyable project and one which I will happily pay for framing. 
The Birds stitching project is still in time out!  But I have knitted a small sweater for the two year old son of a friend and am about to start on a cardigan for his younger sister. 
Hopefully these will be done quickly as the weather is turning cold.   We had out first frost this week and the DBEM needed an extra blanket on the bed.
My garden is doing well and I have Swiss Chard (=Silverbeet) in varying stages of succession planting as this is the only green vegetable the DBEM's dietary intolerances will allow. 
And I'm learning about seed propagation so have seedlings just germinated.  By day these live on the laundry windowsill and have a brief hour or two in the sun each morning and are carried in to the warm kitchen area in the evening.   So far so good.   I may yet welcome the day when I can honestly say that gardening is fun :-)

Sunday 17 May 2020

Progress on the Japan SAL

I am enjoying this project and after a diversion with the DBEM's knitting got back into it tonight.  Some more cherry blossom, a rising sun and part of The Mountain.   I think the blue beside the red Torii Gate is supposed to be a snow crystal. 
Currently I am timetabling my days so as to ensure I don't waste time so will do another hour or two on this tomorrow. 
The DBEM and I are planning an adventure to the shops to cross off some items on our list. Cleaning fluid for our spectacles is high on the list!    We both have only sufficient for a few days.   I have a list for the only local handwork supplies shop so hope I can get all I need (a must have is DMC156!!)and can then start on another sewing project.   I have promised a warm gilet for my Great-Nephew and want to get onto it asap.   He's an active outdoors little one-year-old and an extra layer would certainly help his parents to keep him warm.
Another progress report in a few days.

Friday 15 May 2020


Today the DBEM and I went out for a picnic lunch in the small town of Marton close to where we live.   It was a fine golden Autumn day and my new car performed well.......probably would have been better if it wasn't so long since my tutorial!   The iStop function had me flummoxed at one point and several times I found myself reaching for the key to turn the vehicle on and off.  New car = No key!  It's a push button.  All the increased technology is only to be expected as my previous car was 16 years old.
Anyway we stopped for lunch outside this cute little house which has been preserved as a museum but unfortunately wasn't open today.
On the return journey we drove through the village of Bulls where the townspeople take delight in puns - they laughingly have their welcome sign saying Bulls a Town like No Udder.   The rubbish bins are Respons-a-bull; the Police Station is Const-a-bull;  the medical centre is Cure-a-bull; the church is Forgiv-a-bull; and McDonalds is Drive-Thru-A-Bull!  There are also many statues of said animal around the village and today they were wearing masks in a nod to Covid  alerts.

And now I'm back to stitching on my Japan SAL which I am really enjoying.   Currently in the hoop is a flowering cherry tree.   Possi-bull photos tomorrow!

Thursday 14 May 2020

Making Plans

Today the courier postman brought my seed order.   It is the first time I have used this company and had anticipated lovely packets with pretty pictures so facilitating dreams of a beautiful garden next summer.   However the packets look like this...
Never mind dreams are still free and I am looking forward to seedlings, plants, flowers and a vege harvest.
Tonight I am making chicken soup and it was a delight to cut celery and parsley from my garden to add to the pot.   Sadly the carrots are not to size yet :-(
And now I'm off to print two more pages on my Japan SAL.   I'm still enjoying this project and promise a photo update soon.

Wednesday 13 May 2020

Good progress

The DBEM and I are happily planning our first road trip in my new car.   NZ moves into Alert Level 2 on Thursday and we will be free to travel (sensibly) so will pack a small picnic basket and go to a local village for a picnic.   According to the weatherman we should have a fine sunny day on Friday so here's hoping he's correct this time.

I did a mental happy dance when our Prime Minister announced the news - my first thought was that I could finally get to the store and buy DMC 156 and so fill in the gaps in my cross stitch piece.   However I will leave that until next week as there will be plenty of people like me itching to get to the store and I would rather wait until it is less busy and therefore safer.
This week I have done a few odd jobs around the house and garden and made some progress on the Japanese sampler.   I'm enjoying this one but will need to find a red bead to hang from the lantern on the Torii Gate which looks remarkably like that at Asakusa in Tokyo.   It is such fun stitching each of these motifs.   I have extra stitches to put in the Acorn Cap and also a Koi fish to go in the gap to the bottom left of the iris motif.   Perhaps I should go through and colour in my chart to ensure I haven't left anything out;-)

I've been knitting too.   I promised myself I would knit a jersey for a brother and sister (2 yrs old and 6 months old) at church and the delivery of the yarn was delayed.  Now that it has arrived I have been beavering away on the small sweater for John - so much so that I have gotten a painful right shoulder yet again.   I need to take care so will slow down on this as I need to keep my shoulders pain free in order to fix up all the extras that the DBEM's knitting entails now.   Oh dear, she has such a lot of reversing and repairing for me to do:-(   I mask my feelings as I don't know what to say when she says "I think I'll need to give up this knitting.  I can't do a very good job...." and her voice quavers a little.   What she would do if she had to stop this simple pleasure I don't know so anything I can do to help her continue is a must.   Today we both went exploring a hitherto undiscovered lane across the street and enjoyed the golden autumn weather.   Both of us are in need of time out of the house and of vistas new and fresh scenery. 

Friday 8 May 2020

Birds - half done

My lockdown project is half done.   Had I spent all my time on this I may have completed it but other projects teased and tempted.
However I am happy to have this much done and feel as if I will be able to complete it now - at one point I was prepared to toss the whole kit into the rubbish as I hated it so much. 
Today was Gardening Day and I weeded the whole garden and mowed the lawn but ran out of energy at that point so will have to do the lawn edges tomorrow.   Mowing even my small pocket handkerchief lawn is 4000 steps on my Fitbit!   Late this afternoon when the sun had all but disappeared I summonsed enough energy to go for a walk around the big block thereby reaching today's  step target.   

The DBEM has been busy knitting during lockdown so we needed to order some more yarn on-line.   Can you believe it?   The retailer emailed me to ask if I wanted to collect it at the store?!   What don't they understand about delivery service?   Anyway I go for a walk so yesterday wandered up to their store and in a contactless Click and Collect brought home more yarn for her to knit up.

We are both well

Tuesday 5 May 2020

It seems I can't count

Even a simple motif like these irises had me flummoxed and I unpicked and repeated twice!   Not having DMC156 has been a pain too as I needed to leave gaps.   The irises and the dragon and now the pink flower in the bottom right all need that elusive DMC.  Still I am making progress.
The Birds population is growing also.  Not much to say about this one except that it isn't my favourite piece of work:)

Today I ventured out to the supermarket again, list in hand, and after that stock-up will not need to go again for a month.   Hopefully by that time our Prime Minister will have decided what to do about opening up a) hairdressers, b) needlework shops, c) libraries and, d) churches.
Meanwhile Keep Safe, Keep Well